Ms.Brill Essay

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Milo Menard III Professor Leadlich English 1A November 10th, 2010 Everyone is a letdown it just matters on how far they can go. “Ms. Brill”, by Katherine Mansfield is a short story about human isolation and aloneness. What does it mean to be fully human? In Mrs. Brill this question becomes clearer as Ms. Brill and the story develops further from symbols and other various literary devices. Ms. Brill is not married (duh) as her name implies, thus she has no spouse and it can be inferred that she is lonely lady. This initial inferred loneliness becomes more apparent and eventually reality when the fur is introduced and personified in the first paragraph. “What has been happening to me” said the sad little eyes.” Ms. Brill is talking to the fur and thus this is another indication that she is lonely; but this says something even more important about her loneliness. In this line Ms. Brill projects her personality onto the fur. This and the combination of her feeling a tingling in her arms is a clear foreshadowing that she is old and alone and possibly if not definitely in denial. Throughout most of the short story Ms. Brill is watching life happen. Not quiet experiencing it as proved in these lines: “Oh, how fascinating it was! How she enjoyed it! How she loved sitting here, watching it all!” “They did not speak. This was disappointing, for Miss Brill always looked forward to the conversation. She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn't listen, at sitting in other people's lives just for a minute while they talked round her.” It isn’t until a younger couple comes into the story that Ms. Brill realizes she is alone. The younger couple mocks her fur and calls her a “stupid old thing” in which Ms. Brill responds by not buying her usual slice of honey-cake. Ms. Brill ends up being a very dynamic character due to her change in

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